Saturday, September 12, 2020

TODAY ONLY: New Book: Pages & Co.: The Lost Fairy Tales by Anna James for $1.99

 


Pages & Co.: The Lost Fairy Tales by Anna James (Author), Paola Escobar (Illustrator) was released this past May. It is on sale TODAY ONLY for $1.99 in ebook format, down from $9.99.

Book description:

The second magical bookwandering adventure in the nationally bestselling Pages & Co. series, featuring Tilly Pages as she journeys to France to wander inside a peculiar book of fairytales. Perfect for fans of Inkheart and The Land of Stories.

Tilly and her best friend Oskar are bookwanderers: a remarkable group of people who, using the magical power of books, can travel inside any story they choose. But on a wintry visit to Paris, the friends wander inside a book of fairy tales to find that peculiar things are happening: characters are getting lost, stories are all mixed up, and mysterious plot holes are opening without warning . . .

It's up to Tilly and Oskar to figure out what--or who--is behind the chaos. And after the friends come face-to-face with an old foe, they realize that villains can exist outside the pages of books . . . and that sometimes, you don't get to live happily ever after.

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Thursday, September 3, 2020

The Grim Truth Behind the Pied Piper on BBC News


BBC News in the Travel Section has an article today about the Pied Piper: The Grim Truth Behind the Pied Piper by Raphael Kadushin.

The tale in fact has survived for a very long time. Originating as medieval folklore, the story inspired a Goethe verse, Der Rattenfänger; a Grimm Brothers’ legend, The Children of Hamelin; and one of Robert Browning’s best-known poems, The Pied Piper of Hamelin. And although each writer tinkered with the story, the basics remained the same: the Piper was hired by Hamelin to rid the town of its plague of rats. Trailing after the hypnotic notes of the rat-catcher’s magical flute, the rodents politely filed through the city gates to their presumed doom.

They weren’t the only ones lured by his music, though. When the town refused to pay the Piper for his service, the saviour turned into a more satanic seducer and came for Hamelin’s children. Entranced by the notes of his flute, the transfixed boys and girls followed the Piper out of town and simply vanished.

The article goes on to describe many ways Hamelin capitalizes on the tale, from rat shaped bread and other dishes to reenactments. Then it delves deepest into the possible sources of the tale which is  a complex set of theories such as there is for many popular tales. 

And it's always fun to read about folklore in the popular media. Even one--or especially one--with macabre elements. 

Read D. L. Ashliman's Pied Piper of Hameln page, including the Grimms' version of the tale.

Read about the Pied Piper on Wikipedia.

Monday, August 31, 2020

Monday Memories: Magnetic Poetry - Brothers Grimm Kit


Do you remember the magnetic poetry fad about a decade ago? I found my old set a few weeks back and stumbled across this set on Amazon where there are dozens of different themed sets still available. My very literate niece and nephew weren't around for the first round of magnetic poetry so I wanted to share it with them. I was happily surprised to see that one themed set is for Magnetic Poetry - Brothers Grimm Kit. And now I am very tempted to add it to my set. 

And this time the tiles live on the door to my garage which is metal. It provides a bigger canvas and doesn't make my fridge look too cluttered. It's really quite fun. And they can just be used while sitting at the kitchen table for a fun hour of activity. It's always fun to see what people come up with using the available words.

Product description:

  • This box contains the magnetic seeds for creating your own darkly sweet tales. Includes words like princess, witch, evil, forest, poison, and apple.
  • CONTAINS - over 200 themed magnetic word tiles in a cute, colorful, giftable 4.75 x 3 inch box. Rearrange the words to write poems, messages to your roommates, or generative esoteric word art masterpieces whose meaning is lost even to you. Magnetic Poetry is both a creative writing aid, and just a really fun and limitless toy. They're not just fridge words, you can write an ode on your commode, an elegy on your doorknob, a haiku on your car hood, or a novelette on your omelette maker.
  • MIX AND MATCH WITH OTHER KITS - Tile height is 0.375 Inches, compatible with nearly all other Magnetic Poetry sets. With dozens of other themed kits, the possibilities are endless. You can mix and match to create custom combinations, and custom gift ideas. Magnet words make a great dorm room accessory, or locker decoration. They're also a perfect gift for poetry lovers, or a gift for writers of any kind, and as a graduation present, you can't go wrong.
  • MADE IN THE USA - Magnetic Poetry sets are made in America, are nontoxic, and comply with all American and international safety guidelines and regulations. Magnetic Poetry is the inventor of the magnetic word tile, and we're still a small US company that takes great pride in every set we make.

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Friday, August 28, 2020

An Illustrated Treasury of Grimm's Fairy Tales Illustrated by Daniela Drescher



An Illustrated Treasury of Grimm's Fairy Tales by The Brothers Grimm (Author), Daniela Drescher (Illustrator) has some beautiful romantic illustrations by Drescher. I had missed these before. I love the rainbow palettes of the illustrations. Page down to see some of the illustrations. I won't label them so you can play "Name the Tale" if you like. 

Book description:

Two hundred years ago, the Brothers Grimm published their famous collection of folk tales, including these thirty much-loved stories of helpful elves; giants who can see into the next land; foolish but good-hearted lads; princesses with golden hair; faithful servants and wicked queens.

This sumptuously illustrated collection of essential Grimm classics includes stories every childhood needs: The Princess and the Frog, Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Rumpelstiltskin and dozens more.

Each tale is brought to life with radiant, faithful pictures from Daniela Drescher, one of Germany's best-loved illustrators, which are sure to fire any child's imagination.










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Thursday, August 27, 2020

New Book: Pages & Co.: The Lost Fairy Tales by Anna James and Paola Escobar



Pages & Co.: The Lost Fairy Tales by Anna James (Author), Paola Escobar (Illustrator) was released this past May.

Book description:

The second magical bookwandering adventure in the nationally bestselling Pages & Co. series, featuring Tilly Pages as she journeys to France to wander inside a peculiar book of fairytales. Perfect for fans of Inkheart and The Land of Stories.

Tilly and her best friend Oskar are bookwanderers: a remarkable group of people who, using the magical power of books, can travel inside any story they choose. But on a wintry visit to Paris, the friends wander inside a book of fairy tales to find that peculiar things are happening: characters are getting lost, stories are all mixed up, and mysterious plot holes are opening without warning . . .

It's up to Tilly and Oskar to figure out what--or who--is behind the chaos. And after the friends come face-to-face with an old foe, they realize that villains can exist outside the pages of books . . . and that sometimes, you don't get to live happily ever after.

SurLaLune's Small Print:

As an Amazon Associate, the SurLaLune Fairy Tale site earns a percentage from qualifying purchases as a referral incentive which helps support the site. Your cost does not increase by using the links on this site. Read SurLaLune's Privacy Policy here

Monday, August 24, 2020

Illustrations by Ulla Thynell from Nordic Tales: Folktales from Norway



Nordic Tales: Folktales from Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, and Denmark by Chronicle Books (Author), Ulla Thynell  (Illustrator) is intended for younger readers but is really for anyone who wants to see some illustrated versions of tales. And that always includes me. And since my DNA is about 41% Norwegian, I always enjoy Nordic tales. Be sure to page down for some illustrations, especially one for one of my favorites, East of the Sun, West of the Moon, since it is a Beauty and the Beast tale.

Book Description:

Nordic Tales is a collection of 16 traditional tales from the enchanting world of Nordic folklore.

Translated and transcribed by folklorists in the 19th century, these stories are at once magical, hilarious, cozy, and chilling.

Welcome to a world of mystical adventure—where trolls haunt the snowy forests, terrifying monsters roam the open sea, a young woman journeys to the end of the world, and a boy proves he knows no fear.

• Offers a fascinating view into Nordic culture
• The tales come alive alongside bold, contemporary art
• Part of the popular Tales series, featuring Tales of Japan, Celtic Tales, Tales of India, and Tales of East Africa

Nordic Tales will enthrall fans of fairytales and captivate those interested in the rich history of Nordic culture.

Ulla Thynell's glowing contemporary illustrations accompany each tale, conjuring dragons, princesses, and the northern lights.

And three of the illustrations: 



Hildur, Queen of the Elves

 

Friday, August 21, 2020

Bargain Ebook: The Girl in Red by Christina Henry for $2.99



The Girl in Red by Christina Henry is on sale today for $2.99 in ebook format. And, yes, it is a Little Red Riding Hood retelling.

Book Description:

From the national bestselling author of Alice comes a postapocalyptic take on the perennial classic "Little Red Riding Hood"...about a woman who isn't as defenseless as she seems.

It's not safe for anyone alone in the woods. There are predators that come out at night: critters and coyotes, snakes and wolves. But the woman in the red jacket has no choice. Not since the Crisis came, decimated the population, and sent those who survived fleeing into quarantine camps that serve as breeding grounds for death, destruction, and disease. She is just a woman trying not to get killed in a world that doesn't look anything like the one she grew up in, the one that was perfectly sane and normal and boring until three months ago.

There are worse threats in the woods than the things that stalk their prey at night. Sometimes, there are men. Men with dark desires, weak wills, and evil intents. Men in uniform with classified information, deadly secrets, and unforgiving orders. And sometimes, just sometimes, there's something worse than all of the horrible people and vicious beasts combined.

Red doesn't like to think of herself as a killer, but she isn't about to let herself get eaten up just because she is a woman alone in the woods....

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Bargain Ebook: TODAY ONLY: A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer for $1.99



TODAY ONLY: A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer is on sale in ebook format for $1.99. Catnip for many of you since this is a Beauty and the Beast retelling!

Book description:

In a lush, contemporary fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Brigid Kemmerer gives readers another compulsively readable romance perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer.

Fall in love, break the curse.

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she's instead somehow sucked into Rhen's cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn't know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what's at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

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The Sisters Grimm Series by Michael Buckley

 

 

Do you have a middle grade reader who loves fairy tales? Don't forget to share The Sisters Grimm! My 10-year-old niece called me earlier this summer and asked where the rest of the series was on her Kindle. She has a Kindle on my account since we share reading interests and my library is vast. That has been especially helpful during Covid physical distancing this year. I have gotten several calls requesting books over the past several months. 

Needless to say, I completed the ebook series for her because I am a soft touch. It's hard to say no to a reading request although I had physical copies of the series. She has previously devoured other series by E. D. Baker and Patricia Wrede to name a few. She has loved The Sisters Grimm this summer and highly recommends it. And I just want to squeeze her for loving the books and genres that I love.

The Sisters Grimm 9 Book Set & Bonus Journal! (Paperback Box Set) by Michael Buckley is the easiest way to get the series in paper (and currently the cheapest if you are acquiring them all). Or there is always the digital editions, of course.

From Book 1: 

Fans of fractured fairy tales will be delighted to discover the fantasy, mystery, adventure, and humor in the beloved New York Times bestselling Sisters Grimm series by Michael Buckley, now with new cover art. As featured on NBC’s The Today Show, the nine wildly popular books are favorites around the world. They were among the first books to bring a distinctly girl-power spin to fairy tales—a spin taken up by hit movies and shows TV such as Once Upon a Time, Grimm, and Maleficent, the bestselling book series The Land of Stories, and other. New covers will appear on book one, The Sisters Grimm: The Fairy-Tale Detectives; book two, The Sisters Grimm: The Unusual Suspects; and book three, The Sisters Grimm: The Problem Child. Books four through nine will be available in revised editions soon. †¨

In this first book in the series, orphaned sisters Sabrina and Daphne are sent to live with their recently discovered grandmother, Relda Grimm. The girls learn that they are descendants of the Brothers Grimm, whose famous tome of fairy tales is actually a history book. The girls are pitted against a giant, who has been rampaging through town. But who set the giant loose in the first place? Was it Mayor Charming (formerly Prince Charming), who has plans to get his kingdom back? The Three Not-So-Little Pigs, now working as police officers? Or a giant-killer named Jack, currently working at a Big & Tall store?

With an irresistible combination of adventure and imagination, the Sisters Grimm series injects classic fairy tales with modern day sensibilities and suspense, creating a fantastical combination readers of all ages will love.


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Thursday, August 20, 2020

New Book: Goddess in the Machine by Lora Beth Johnson

 

 

Goddess in the Machine by Lora Beth Johnson was released earlier this summer. It is a science fiction novel with tropes from Sleeping Beauty and Snow White. The description includes a reference to a glass coffin! What fun and the concept of mixing those tales with cryogenic sleep has become a subset of retellings, but still not common. This one is higher in my TBR list since I have a soft spot for science fiction with fairy tale inspirations.

Book Description:
Andra wakes up from a cryogenic sleep 1,000 years later than she was supposed to, forcing her to team up with an exiled prince to navigate an unfamiliar planet in this smart, thrilling sci-fi adventure, perfect for fans of Renegades and Aurora Rising.

When Andra wakes up, she's drowning.

Not only that, but she's in a hot, dirty cave, it's the year 3102, and everyone keeps calling her Goddess. When Andra went into a cryonic sleep for a trip across the galaxy, she expected to wake up in a hundred years, not a thousand. Worst of all, the rest of the colonists--including her family and friends--are dead. They died centuries ago, and for some reason, their descendants think Andra's a deity. She knows she's nothing special, but she'll play along if it means she can figure out why she was left in stasis and how to get back to Earth.

Zhade, the exiled bastard prince of Eerensed, has other plans. Four years ago, the sleeping Goddess's glass coffin disappeared from the palace, and Zhade devoted himself to finding it. Now he's hoping the Goddess will be the key to taking his rightful place on the throne--if he can get her to play her part, that is. Because if his people realize she doesn't actually have the power to save their dying planet, they'll kill her.


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Wednesday, August 19, 2020

New Book: Unravel the Dusk by Elizabeth Lim

 


Unravel the Dusk by Elizabeth Lim was just released last month.  It is the second book in the The Blood of Stars duology (this appears to be the second and final book), following Spin the Dawn which was released last year. And the covers are particularly gorgeous, aren't they?

The books draw upon folklore themes. The reviews reference Mulan and the sewing of dresses of the sun, moon, and stars. I love that challenge in folktales--you most often see it in Cinderella/Donkeyskin variants, but this novel doesn't appear to draw much from that particular tale type. An excellent example of the motif can be found in the Grimms' Allerleirauh.

Book Description for Unravel the Dusk:
Maia Tamarin proved her skill as a tailor when she wove the dresses of the sun, the moon, and the stars, but it will take more than a beautiful gown to hide the darkness rising up within her. . . . The stakes are higher than ever in this breathtaking sequel to Spin the Dawn, perfect for fans of Six of Crows. 
Maia Tamarin's journey to sew the dresses of the sun, the moon, and the stars has taken a grievous toll. She returns to a kingdom on the brink of war. Edan, the boy she loves, is gone--perhaps forever--and no sooner does she set foot in the Autumn Palace than she is forced to don the dress of the sun and assume the place of the emperor's bride-to-be to keep the peace. When the emperor's rivals learn of her deception, there is hell to pay, but the war raging around Maia is nothing compared to the battle within. Ever since she was touched by the demon Bandur, she has been changing . . . glancing in the mirror to see her own eyes glowing red; losing control of her magic, her body, her mind. It's only a matter of time before Maia loses herself completely, and in the meantime she will stop at nothing to find Edan, protect her family, and bring lasting peace to her country.
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Monday, August 17, 2020

Botanical Folk Tales of Britain and Ireland by Lisa Schneidau

 

  

Botanical Folk Tales of Britain and Ireland by Lisa Schneidau was released a few years ago. I've been enjoying all of the crepe myrtles and other flora and fauna in my area. This book came up in my explorations and it is an interesting assortment of folklore.

Book description:
The islands of Britain and Ireland hold a rich heritage of plant folklore and wisdom, from the magical yew tree to the bad-tempered dandelion. Here are traditional tales about the trees and plants that shape our landscapes and our lives through the seasons. They explore the complex relationship between people and plants, in lowlands and uplands, fields, bogs, moors, woodlands and towns.Suitable for all ages, this is an essential collection of stories for anyone interested in botany, the environment and our living heritage.


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